Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman malik has announced a $1 million bounty on Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Eshan, who claimed responsibility for the attack on anti-Taliban child rights activist Malala Yousafzai last week.
“All our law enforcers, intelligence agencies are hunting those involved,” the interior minister told CNN in an interview on Monday. “I have got some other names which I would not like to mention on record because it may damage the investigation. But let me assure my Pakistani nation and the entire world that we will get them very soon.”
He said the attack was planned in Afghanistan. “This…assassination plan was made across the border in Afghanistan.. four people came from there (Afghanistan).” Ehsan had claimed that two killers from Mullah Fazlullah-led militants attacked Malala on October 9. He had threatened to kill the girl’s father following the failed bid on the girl’s life.
Malik said Fazlullah, believed to be holed up in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, has been made the chief. “We have intelligence reports that Fazlullah was made the chief due to the inactiveness of Hakimullah Mehsud, who was appointed the top leader of the group after Baitullah Mehsud’s killing in a drone strike in 2009,” Malik said.
In October 2011, Pakistan had urged the US and Afghanistan to take action against Fazlullah in response to cross-border raids in the mountainous Dir district and tribal regions of Bajaur and Mohmand. Last June, a Taliban spokesman had claimed that Fazlullah was leading attacks on Pakistan from Afghanistan’s border provinces of Kunar and Nuristan.